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The role of corporate HR policy in facilitating and stimulating self-directed learning : an exploratory research

Verscheijden, Robert J.J. (2017) The role of corporate HR policy in facilitating and stimulating self-directed learning : an exploratory research.

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Abstract:Due to the unpreceded rapidity of change in society and working life in recent decades, self-directed learning (SDL) has become increasingly important for both employees and their organisations. Although it has been argued that developing the workforce’s SDL behaviour is an inseparable part of the increasingly strategic role of corporate HR, there is a lack of scientific and practical understanding of how corporate HR policy can actually facilitate and stimulate SDL. Therefore, the twofold purpose of this research is to investigate which employee characteristics, contextual conditions, and perceived HR practices influence SDL, and to clarify the found relationships. To achieve these research goals, an exploratory research approach with a sequential mixed method design was conducted within a corporate high-tech organisation. The first quantitative cross-sectional survey study, conducted on 593 participants, resulted in a multiple regression analysis revealing that a proactive personality is the biggest predictor of SDL, although contextual conditions (i.e. feedback from others and growth potential) and perceived HR practices on training development education also exert a considerable influence on SDL. Subsequently, 10 participants were subjected to qualitative focus group interviews to clarify the quantitative findings. A conventional content analysis of HR- and employee-utterances confirmed the found relationships, showed the direction of these relationships, and provided examples behind it. Additional insights stem from the finding of more complex relationships, revealing for example that contextual conditions are also influenced by employee characteristics and perceived HR practices. Future research could contribute to this exploratory foundation by further investigating mediation and moderation effects using structural equation modelling. The paper concludes by outlining implications for practice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
ASML, Veldhoven, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology, 81 education, teaching, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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